Friday, November 22, 2013

The Island Desired

The island, with the three odd coconut palms jutting out like three fingers, so islandish in nature, almost like a slice cake of Andamans or Bahamas may be, didn't remain an island anymore. The monsoon had gone a few months back and the flooded patch of lowland that lent this tiny place the aura of an island is now dry and exposed. There is dried yellow grass, and human trails like hair partings serpent their ways to the knoll, with the three coconut palms still swaying in the afternoon breeze. With winter round the corner, cobwebs in the yellow grass now shimmer with the morning dew till the sun decides to take a harsh late morning stand. Sometimes it feels ridiculous now to look at this place, which like a treasured pain yearned for, was once so distant and inaccessible that you had to think of either swimming or bringing in a boat. It also seemed like the perfect time to reach this little island would be the midnight, with the moon or the fireflies for company. And the mere thought of taking a crash date of adventure to reach this place seemed so secretly justified a desire. And then the water, that once had shielded this little paradise from random visitors, starts ebbing off, leaving the shiny apple-snails stuck in the mud and the water lettuce dying a slow roasting death. Then the mud starts getting foot-marked; visitors treading on the half-baked surface still oozing with the scent of the wetlands. Then sprouts the slumber ferns with their perfect clover leaves peeping through the tangles of dying Spirogyra strewn across like green hair of some unknown maiden. It's now you know, that place, no longer a secret paradise, can be visited by anybody. By that time, the yellow grass has arrived, and with it the human trails that trample it. You don’t know when it exactly started, but you start to realize the fading charm, the desire that is no more. The longings now seem so foolish to visit this place in dreamy nights in mist and firefly lights. I am yet to know what another monsoon brings and how many monsoons a man has to enjoy in his lifetime. Or I’d rather say, endure in his lifetime.

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